Date
5 December 2019
Disney shares surged more than 7% after news of better-than-expected demand for its new streaming service. Photo: Reuters
Disney shares surged more than 7% after news of better-than-expected demand for its new streaming service. Photo: Reuters

Disney streaming service records 10 mln sign-ups on day one

Entertainment giant Walt Disney Co witnessed huge demand for the firm’s new streaming service, Disney+, with sign-ups reaching 10 million in its first day.

Disney+, which launched in the United States, Canada and the Netherlands on Tuesday, was hit with technical glitches that the company said were caused by higher-than-expected demand, Reuters reports.

The service costs US$7 per month and features roughly 500 movies and 7,500 TV episodes from the company’s deep family entertainment catalog, as well as new programming.

A bundle including ESPN+ and Hulu costs US$13.

In April, Disney said it plans to reach 60 million to 90 million Disney+ subscribers globally by 2024.

In a note on Wednesday, Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives wrote that at its current pace, Disney could hit that subscriber goal potentially two years earlier.

Although Disney’s day one numbers were more than three times the size of some forecasts, it was not immediately clear how many of these new customers were from free promotions, Reuters noted.

In October, Disney and telecom provider Verizon announced a promotion that made all new and existing Verizon unlimited wireless customers, as well as new Fios and 5G home internet customers, eligible for a free, one-year subscription to Disney+.

Ahead of the launch, Disney executives said they expect between 17 million to 19 million new subscribers as a result of the Verizon promotion. Verizon told Reuters in October it expects even more of its customers to have access to the deal.

Disney said it has no future plans to release Disney+ subscriber data outside of the company’s quarterly earnings calls.

Disney shares surged more than 7 percent in New York trading after news of the strong streaming service subscriber numbers.

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